Participating in Beth Emet, whether it’s a program, service, or even a conversation in our lobby, makes me a better person. This past weekend I had the privilege to experience what really makes our community so special. Our annual MLK Kabbalat Shabbat service was both spiritual and uplifting in every way. From the singing with members of the Second Baptist Choir, to hearing the inspiring words of Robin Rue Simmons, Rabbi London, and our very own Matt Feldman about the ongoing Evanston reparations programs, to recalling the wise words of Dr. King, who spoke at Beth Emet on the very same date in 1958, we raised the spiritual roof. Saturday evening we danced, ate, drank and celebrated Beth Emet at our first of two Mitzvah Appeal programs, and I was honored to host in my building on Randolph Street. Sunday, I enjoyed hanging out in the Beth Emet “Living Room,” engaging with parents and teachers. Sunday afternoon I attended the Interfaith Service at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, and I was moved by the power of bringing our local interfaith communities together. As they say, “we are all better together.”
Our annual Mitzvah Appeal campaign and your generous support is what makes all this happen. The campaign is not just about supporting our bricks and mortar, it’s about dreaming and making our congregation and each of us the best that we can be.
This campaign is critical to the financial health of our synagogue as these generous gifts comprise more than 10% of our annual operating budget. Not unlike Joseph’s forward-thinking approach to solving for the famine in Egypt, your generosity allows our community to be prepared for the future so we can continue to be a vibrant Jewish community offering many doors in which we can engage, learn, and grow together. This past weekend is just one example of what Beth Emet has to offer.
For those who have already given, we say thank you. For those who have yet to give, we are excited to announce that an incentive matching pool has been created through the generosity of several of our past lay leaders to encourage each of you, each of our members, to contribute so we can reach our goal of $280,000. We are 75% there, but we need everyone to participate so we can be successful together. Each dollar increase over last year’s pledge or any new pledge will be matched dollar for dollar. No matter the size of the gift, every gift counts.
We have one more event to go on Sunday, January 29th at 9:45 am with US Representative and Beth Emet’s own Jan Schakowsky. If you have not yet registered and/or pledged, you can do so online. And a special thank you to the talented Mitzvah Appeal Committee (Paul Isaacson, Elaine Lev, Michael Orenstein, Michelle Oxman, Marti Netler and Bekki Kaplan).
I look forward to seeing you at Beth Emet, and thank you in advance for your generosity and all that you do to make Beth Emet our home.